EDF grants available to congregations and districts for humanitarian relief in their communities

Church of the Brethren congregations and districts may now apply for grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) in a new program responding to the humanitarian needs caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Working together and supporting each other we can share God’s light and love even in the hardest of times,” said an announcement.

The program is one of several financial resources that denominational staff are publicizing or expanding in order to support the ministries of congregations, districts, church-related organizations, and church staff in this difficult time. Find a new landing page of COVID-19 related resources at www.brethren.org/covid19 .

EDF pandemic grants

The COVID-19 Pandemic Grants program was created by Brethren Disaster Ministries and an initial program funding of $60,000 was approved by the Mission and Ministry Board in order to enable the EDF to provide grants to congregations and districts. Additional funding will be requested from the Mission and Ministry Board when needed.

Congregations may apply for grants of up to $5,000 to provide humanitarian relief for vulnerable people among their church members and communities.

Districts may apply for grants of up to $25,000 to provide humanitarian relief for vulnerable people in their congregations and communities.

The grants may be used for a variety of purposes including providing food, shelter, emotional and spiritual care, care of church leaders, support for children, and more. These grants are only available to Church of the Brethren congregations and districts in the United States and Puerto Rico.

To apply or for more information go to www.brethren.org/covid19 or email bdm@brethren.org or call 410-635-8731.

Additional financial resources are available through several already existing funds and programs of the denomination:

The Ministry Assistance Fund, administered by the Office of Ministry, assists credentialed ministers and licensed ministers serving as pastors. Applications for assistance will be channeled through district executives or designees of the ministers/families experiencing hardship. Go to www.brethren.org/ministryoffice/assistance-fund.html or contact your district executive or email the Office of Ministry at officeofministry@brethren.org .

The Church Worker’s Assistance Plan is a program of Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) to aid current and former clergy and lay employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, or camps who have no other means of financial assistance. Contact pension@cobbt.org or 847-622-3391.

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund created with funds generated from the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., continues to receive applications from congregations for grants up to $5,000 for outreach ministry projects that serve their communities, strengthen the congregation, and expand the reign of God. Go to www.brethren.org/faith-in-action or email BFIAFund@brethren.org or call 847-429-4343.

The Going to the Garden program of the Global Food Initiative and the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy addresses food insecurity with grants of up to $1,000 to create or supplement a community garden. Congregations and other groups that have received grants in the past are now eligible to apply for larger amounts. Contact jboshart@brethren.org or 920-568-8177.